Timeline of Afghanistan (June 2003)


This is a timeline of the history of Afghanistan in June 2003. The list is not complete and you are welcome to expand it.

"Sunday, June 1, 2003"

In Kandahar, Afghanistan, attackers hurled a hand grenade at the office of the German Technical Cooperation, shattering three windows but causing no injuries.

Several hundred ISAF peacekeepers in Kabul, Afghanistan held a memorial ceremony for a German soldier killed in a land mine blast on May 29.

In Kabul, Afghan Minister of State Shirbaz Hakimi welcomed the establishment of an Iran Khodro representative office.

In Kandahar, an explosion damaged the home of Ahmad Wali Karzai, a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but there were no casualties.

"Monday, June 2, 2003"

Governor Ismail Khan of Herat province, handed $20 million of customs revenues to Afghan coffers, the largest contribution in 18 months. Khan's payment allowed the Afghan government to paid about 100,000 Afghan soldiers their full salaries.

In Arghasan, a district of Kandahar province, Afghan troops killed four suspected Taliban fighters and captured five others in a gun battle. The dead included Mullah Abdullah.

Near a U.S. military base at Spin Boldak, fighting occurred between the soldiers of Afghan commanders Abdul Raziq and Gud Fahida. One of the Afghan soldier's killed, Sakhi Dad, also was a part-time translator for the U.S. Army.

One Afghan soldier died and 14 were wounded in a vehicle convoy accident near Kandahar.

Five Afghan soldiers were injured in a road accident in Gardez.

In Afghanistan, a convoy of four fuel trucks was ambushed en route to the U.S. base at Orgun-e in Paktia province.

In Tehran, representatives of Iran, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan signed a draft agreement establishing a road link from Iran to Central Asia via Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

"Tuesday, June 3, 2003"

Afghan General Abdul Rashid Dostum backed out of a deal to move from his province to Kabul.

A U.S. army AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed while supporting combat operations near Orgun-e in Paktika province, Afghanistan, but there were no casualties.

The Asian Development Bank approved a $150 million concessional loan to help Afghanistan restore damaged roads, power generation and natural gas infrastructures.

Eight Pakistani public and private sector banks applied for licences to operate in Afghanistan.

Following an Afghan government re-evaluation of the administrative structure of some ministries, the Women's Affairs Ministry fired 112 women because they were either completely unqualified or possessed mere vocational skills. Those with needlework, embroidery, and tailoring skills were dismissed because the ministry did not have the capacity to place them according to their professions. A spokeswoman stressed that the ministry was still employing over 1,300 women at its headquarters and its 27 provincial branches.

Swiss Skies AG announced that it would begin flights from Washington, D.C., to Kabul, Afghanistan, via Geneva on July 14. Later this was indefinitely delayed for security reasons.

"Wednesday, June 4, 2003"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai flew to London, United Kingdom.

In the Shahi Kot region of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, U.S. and Italian troops in eastern Afghanistan arrested 21 al-Qaida and Taliban suspects.

Russia offered to support NATO's peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. It was unclear how Russia's support would manifest itself. NATO was due to take command of the 5,200-member U.N. International Security Assistance Force on August 11.

Pakistani officials in Karachi authorized Port Qasim and Karachi Port to act as an entry point for transit trade to Afghanistan.

A homemade bomb exploded near a U.S. special operations convoy about a half mile from the U.S. military base in Gardez, Afghanistan. No casualties were reported.

A rebuilt girls' school in Maidan Province southwest of Kabul was burned down. It was the sixth girls' school in Afghanistan to be torched by arsonists since the fall of the Taliban.

Afghan troops attacked suspected Taliban in Nimakai, Populzai and Hassanzai north of Spin Boldak. The a fierce gunbattle left at least 49 rebel fighters and seven government soldiers dead. Afghan officials sent more than 20 corpses over the border to Pakistan, insisting they were not Afghans. But Pakistan refused to accept them, saying they were not Pakistanis and warning that the Afghan refusal to take back the bodies could spark tension in the border region.

"Thursday, June 5, 2003"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, then with British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon. Hoon promised that Britain would not abandon Afghanistan.

As part of Environment and Water Day, the United Nations Environment Programme in Afghanistan announced that a majority of the nation was experiencing water scarcity. It was estimated that only 20% of Afghans nationwide had access to safe drinking water in both cities and rural areas.

Afghan authorities sent 21 corpses said to be Taliban killed while fighting Afghan government troops near Kandahar on June 3 and June 4, to the Killi Faizo Afghan refugee camp. Pakistani authorities at Chaman handed back 14 bodies to the Afghan officials. The seven were identified as officials of former Taliban regime, including Commander Abdul Rahim, Commander Abdul Ghani, Talib Amir Muhammad, Gul Muhammad, Gullalai, Noorullah and one man whose identity was unconfirmed.

In Paktia Province, Afghanistan, U.S. forces killed one guerrilla and captured another after seeing a group of them open fire on a crowd of civilians.

Said to be the "worst in living memory", sandstorms that lasted more than two months began in Lash Wa Juwayn and Shib Koh districts of Farah Province, Afghanistan, affecting more than 12,000 people living in 57 villages. Villages and canals were buried, crops destroyed, water contaminated, and livestock were threatened.

"Friday, June 6, 2003"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, where he was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen. Karzai later gave a lecture on reconstruction in Afghanistan at St Antony's College, Oxford.

Taliban leader Hafiz Abdul Rahim stated that only eight rebel fighters were killed in the June 4 battle north of Spin Boldak, not 40 as reported by the Afghan government. He said the others who died were civilians.

In Tokyo, Japan, Frank Polman, a senior Asian Development Bank official, stated that contributions by international donors to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund had fallen far short of the pledges made because international attention had shifted focused to Iraq. Although donors pledged $5.1 billion at a meeting in January 2002 to cover reconstruction efforts through June 2004, only a small proportion of their pledges had actually been committed.

The World Bank approved a $US60 million grant to improve the health of Afghan women and children. A project to develop basic health services and ensure women and children access to them was to be implemented over three years by the Afghan Ministry of Health. It was estimated that a quarter of Afghan children did not survive beyond their fifth birthday.

"Saturday, June 7, 2003"

In Kabul, Afghanistan, a taxi packed with explosives rammed a bus carrying German ISAF personnel, killing four soldiers and wounding 29 others; one Afghan bystander was killed and 10 Afghan bystanders were wounded. The 33 peacekeepers, after months on duty in Kabul, were en route to the Kabul International Airport for their flight home to Germany.

The Afghan Constitution Commission set up offices in all 32 Afghan provinces to gather public comments and recommendations on a draft of the new constitution, which had been worked out by a special drafting committee. Similar offices were scheduled to also be set up in Iran and Pakistan to get opinions on the future constitution from Afghan refugees.

"Sunday, June 8, 2003"

Bacha Khan Zadran, a regional Afghan warlord, said U.S. forces detained his son, Abdul Wali, in an operation in Paktia Province June 5 and called for his immediate release. Zadran said Wali had approached the U.S. forces to offer assistance. It was unclear why he was taken into custody.

To prepare the ground for imports and exports of Iran-Afghan carpets, the first ever Iran-Afghanistan joint carpet exhibition began in Kabul.

German police arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan to help with the investigation over the June 7 suicide bombing.

"Monday, June 9, 2003"

The United Nations urged the Afghan government to take drastic steps to make the Afghan National Army and the Afghan Defense Ministry reflect better the nation's ethnic make-up.

In Zabul Province, Afghanistan, pamphlets surfaced that called on the Afghan National Army and police to fight against President Hamid Karzai and U.S.-led forces. The rhetoric also warned that those who failed to join sides with the Taliban would be killed.

The Swiss parliament agreed to send Swiss soldiers to Afghanistan to work with the ISAF.

The Arman-e-Millie daily newspaper reported that, in the Panjwaye District of Kandahar Province, a bomb exploded in a vehicle, killing its three passengers. The report did not say when the explosion occurred.

Pakistan summoned Afghan ambassador Naunguyalai Tarzi to complain about the June 5 dumping of 22 corpses of suspected Taliban on its side of the border. Pakistani spokesman Masood Khan termed the action "provocative."

Four rocket grenades exploded near an Afghan military border checkpoint near the U.S. base in Shkin, in Paktika Province. There were no casualties.

U.S. special forces found three Blowpipe surface-to-air portable missile systems near Asadabad, Afghanistan. The systems were still in their original containers.

"Tuesday, June 10, 2003"

Hundreds of ISAF personnel gathered in Kabul, Afghanistan for a memorial service to honor the four German killed in the June 7 suicide bombing. The remains were then transported home to Germany.

U.S.-led coalition troops in Afghanistan killed four fighters armed with rifles and rocket grenades near the U.S. base in Shkin, in Paktika Province near the border with Pakistan.

"Wednesday, June 11, 2003"

South of Mazari Sharif, in the Sholgara District, forces from the Jamiat-e-Islami party of Ustad Atta Mohammad clashed with those loyal to Uzbek warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum, killing at least two civilians.

North of Terin Kot in Uruzgan Province, at least nine Pashtun Sunni Muslims were killed in an ambush.

Six Afghans were killed and five injured when gunmen attacked a civilian bus that was en route from Nawmish village to Sartighan village in the Baghran District of Helmand Province.

After completing an 8-day visit to Afghanistan, CARE secretary-general Denis Caillaux met with U.N. leadership, including Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette. Caillaux recommended that ISAF be increased to serve all Afghan provinces and that the U.N. increase efforts to enlarge and improve the Afghan National Army and Afghan police forces. To date, CARE had over 700 aid workers in Afghanistan, most of whom are Afghan nationals. CARE began work in Afghanistan in 1961.

"Thursday, June 12, 2003"

The International Crisis Group (ICG) issued a report critiquing the consitutitional process in Afghanistan. The report suggests that the process is hurried and covert. Public consultations, which started June 7, were due to last just under two months. Culminating in Loya Jirga in October, the process was to end with a general election in mid-2004. However, the ICG claimed that ordinary Afghans would be denied freedom of speech by local leaders and that the United Nations was ignoring public education on the issues.

ISAF personnel and Kabul police defused a remote-control bomb planted on a busy road.

The Afghan government announced that security force of 700 men would be deployed along a 540-km highway construction route.

A man on a motorcycle threw a hand grenade into the office of an Italian aid organization in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan.

"Friday, June 13, 2003"

In the yard of an aid agency in Lashkarga, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, a car exploded.

A grenade attack in the Gerishk District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, wounded six local government soldiers.

Deutsche Welle and Cap Anamur initiated the 100 Classrooms program in Afghanistan.

"Saturday, June 14, 2003"

Three rockets were fired at the U.S. base in Asadabad, Afghanistan. There was no damage and no casualties.

In London, the ACC awarded to the Afghanistan Cricket Federation associate membership of the Asian Cricket Council.

"Sunday, June 15, 2003"

Seven Afghan governmental drug control officers were killed and three others wounded in Oruzgan province when they were on a mission to eradicate opium poppy cultivation.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai selected Vice President Hedayat Arsala to head the Afghan Independent Reform of Civil Administrative Services Commission to fight corruption, nepotism and bureacratic delays.

"Monday, June 16, 2003"

Women's Edge co-founder and executive director Ritu Sharma arrived in Afghanistan for a week's visit. She planned to observe and monitor the conditions of women. Sima Wali, the CEO of Refugee Women in Development, accompanied Sharma.

Leaflets in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan allegedly written by Taliban fighters threatened to launch suicide attacks against U.S. and British troops.

In Paris, France, a three-day Unesco conference began to discuss the future of the Kabul Museum and the possibility of restoring the site at Bamiyan where giant statues of the Buddha were destroyed.

The UNHCR and the governments of Iran and Afghanistan signed an agreement to help repatriate Afghan refugees from Iran to Afghanistan.

"Tuesday, June 17, 2003"

The United Nations issued to all UN personnel in Afghanistan a warning of further suicide bombings in Kabul over the next few days.

In Kabul, a bomb was found in front of the home of Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

After a daylong open discussion, during which representatives of more than 30 countries took the floor, the United Nations Security Council endorsed efforts in Afghanistan to quell lawlessness, with a particular emphasis on curbing illicit drug trade. In an open letter, eighty agencies warned the Security Council that the situation outside Kabul was so bad that many civilians felt life under Taliban rule would be better.

The first meeting of a tripartite commission involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States took place in Islamabad, Pakistan. Senior military and diplomatic officials from each nation attended. The meeting dealt mainly with how and where the commission would operate. Further meetings were set either monthly or bimonthly in Islamabad or Kabul.

The Asian Development Bank agreed to give a loan of $50 million to the Afghan Water and Power Ministry. The loan would be spent over the next three years on projects for the production, distribution and transmission of electricity in Afghanistan.

The International Rescue Committee urged the United Nations and NATO to expand the International Security Assistance Force beyond Kabul.

"Wednesday, June 18, 2003"

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Kabul for a state visit to Iran, where he was expected to sign two trilateral agreements on transit road projects between Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and other cabinet member accompanied Karzai on the trip. Included in Karzai's agenda were meetings with Mohammad Khatami, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

The Afghan Information Ministry shut down the weekly publication Aftab because it questioned Islam and the Qur'an in an article titled "Holy Fascism." The article said there had been no progress in the Islamic world for 1,400 years. Copies of Aftab were confiscated and its chief editor Sayed Mahdawi and his deputy Ali Riza Payam were arrested.

"Thursday, June 19, 2003"

In Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, U.S. Special Operations Forces took 15 people into custody after the group attacked a compound on the Helmund River. There were no casualties during the assault or the arrests.

Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat announced that Adil al-Jazeeri, a key al-Qaeda suspect, was detained after the interrogation of Abu Naseem, who was arrested earlier.

The United Nations and Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission expressed concern about the arrests of two Afghan journalists for articles they published in their magazine Afteb.

"Friday, June 20, 2003"

In Islamabad, Pakistan during Refugee Day celebrations, UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Jack Redden reported that "some 156,000 Afghan refugees from Pakistan and about 100,000 from Iran [had] returned to Afghanistan since January." The UNHCR estimates that 1.8 million Afghans returned home in 2002.

"Saturday, June 21, 2003"

Chief of general staff of the French Army General Bernard Thorette arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan on a three-day visit to hold talks with the International Security Assistance Force and to plan for the arrival of French special forces in the coming weeks.

An Afghan man under U.S.-led coalition control died from unknown causes in a U.S.-managed holding facility near Asadabad, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. The man was seized during operations on June 18.

Syed Ishay Ghalani, chairman of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan, was nominated by the party as its presidential candidate for the Afghan general election expected to be held June 2004.

Three explosions took place in Konduz province, Afghanistan, the first at the residence of the provincial governor and the other two near a building housing coalition forces.

While in France for a medical check-up, former Afghan king Mohammed Zahir Shah broke his femur by slipping in a bathroom. Rumors of his death followed both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Abdul Wali died while in custody at a prison in Konar province, Afghanistan. CIA contractor David Passaro became a suspect in the death.

"Sunday, June 22, 2003"

The U.N. envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, called for the immediate release of two journalists arrested June 18 on charges of defaming Islam. The Afghan Supreme Court planned to put the two journalists on trial.

Security forces raided the home of an Afghan refugee in the Kurram tribal area of Pakistan along the Afghan border and seized 21 Russian-made missiles. No arrest was made and the Afghan refugee fled into Afghanistan.

"Monday, June 23, 2003"

Officials in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan arrested Mullah Nasim, a significant figure in the former Taliban intelligence service, whom they believed was planning an attack on a dwelling in Kandahar housing U.S. troops. He was allegedly near the former home of Mullah Omar. He was also allegedly on a motorbike with three missiles and other equipment.

Troops from Pakistan, the United States and Afghanistan began a mission (Operation Unified Resolve) hunting Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters along Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan.

Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan for a two-day visit. He was scheduled to meet with President Hamid Karzai, Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim and the International Security Assistance Force.

In a released audio tape, Mullah Omar announced the formation of a 10-man leadership council to organize resistance against the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan.

As part of Operation Unified Resolve, Pakistani troops focused on securing passes on the border with Afghanistan. One Pakistani soldier was killed and another wounded in an exchange of fire with some resisting tribesmen.

"Wednesday, June 25, 2003"

U.S.-led troops were attacked near Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in Afghanistan, injuring two U.S. soldiers and killing U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Retzer.

Two Afghan soldiers were killed in an ambush close to a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

An Afghan government soldier was wounded in a three-hour battle in Maruf District, about 110 miles northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

By the order of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, authorities released Mir Hussein Mehdavi, chief editor of Aftaab, and his Iranian deputy Ali Riza Payam, who were detained for allegedly defaming Islam. Chief Justice Mawlavi Fazal Hadi said the two men have not been acquitted or pardoned, and will be summoned to court to answer the allegations.

A large fire burned down a large commercial storehouse near downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, about three kilometers south of the presidential palace. The fire caused US$10 million of damage in various goods, including food supplies, carpets, hardware and electronic appliance.

About 2.5 miles from the U.S. base near Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, at least two Afghan soldiers were killed and one wounded when their vehicle was ambushed by militants armed with rockets and heavy machineguns.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Kabul, Afghanistan on official one-day visits to Poland, Switzerland and France. In Warsaw, he was to meet President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Prime Minister Leszek Miller. Accompanying him were Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, Reconstruction Minister, Dr. Amin Farhang, and National Security Advisor, Dr. Zalmai Rassoul.

The U.N. Drug and Crime reported that Afghanistan made up 76% of the world opium market, compared to 12% before the fall of the Taliban government in late 2001.

"Thursday, June 26, 2003"

Under a project funded by the French government, Afghanistan opened four public telekiosks to introduce a new Internet project to help Afghans learn computer skills and get online.

"Friday, June 27, 2003"

Clashes erupted between a Tajik faction and an Uzbek faction in three villages in Samangan province, Afghanistan.

In Paris, France, French President Jacques Chirac met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Standard Chartered applied for a license from the Central Bank of Afghanistan and hoped to become the first international bank with a branch in Afghanistan. The Kabul branch was to open in September.

Insurgents attacked U.S. troops in Paktika province, Afghaninstan near a U.S. base in Shkin, sparking a gunbattle in which U.S. helicopters were called in for strikes.

In the Barai Ghar mountains in Zabul province, Afghanistan, Afghan soldiers came under attack, sparking a gun battle in which one Taliban commander, Mullah Shaheed, was killed and two guerrillas were wounded.

"Saturday, June 28, 2003"

A U.S. Army soldier died when his vehicle flipped over near a U.S. base in Orgun in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

"Sunday, June 29, 2003"

In Prague, the International Olympic Committee lifted the competition suspension on Afghanistan, clearing the way for Afghanistan to compete in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Afghanistan was cleared to compete in wrestling, boxing, taekwondo, and track and field.

A Pakistani delegation of construction industry representatives in the Pakistani Export Promotion Bureau left for Kabul, Afghanistan for a four-day visit to explore the future of steel, bricks and kiln, cement, pipe and other relative industries.

The fourth conference of the Afghanistan Pakistan People's Friendship Association met in Pakistan. Topics discussed were refugees, free trade zones, education, landmines, and poverty.

Afghanistan Cricket Federation president Allah Dad Noorie met his Indian counterpart Jagmohan Dalmiya and was assured complete support for rebuilding cricket facilities in Afghanistan.

"Monday, June 30, 2003"

The United States Air Force announced that F-16 fighter pilot Maj. Harry Schmidt would face a court-martial for dereliction of duty for his part in bombing Canadian troops in Afghanistan on April 17, 2002.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jack Straw met with Abdullah Abdullah to discuss security issues.

Several rockets were fired into Jalalabad, Afghanistan causing some damage but no casualties. One of the rockets landed near a UNICEF office.

The Niswan Girls' School opened in Gardez in Paktia province, Afghanistan for some 800 students. The school was funded with help from a $12,000 grant from the U.S. military.

During evening prayers, a remote-control bomb exploded in a mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan, wounding 17 people.

Pakistani troops, patrolling a village along the Afghan-Pakistan border, came under fire from Afghan rebels.

Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali that Iran was ready to help the Afghan government construct a number of police stations on the Iran-Afghanistan joint border in order to curb the illicit trade in drugs as well as protect border security forces.

"See also"

Timeline of the War in Afghanistan:
<< May 2003 | June 2003 | July 2003 >>

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